If only I had more talent. The games I'd churn out...
I'm not a programmer. I'm just not technically-minded enough.
I know, I know -- everybody thinks they have fantastic ideas, if only someone would give them a chance! But I really do. Over the past two decades, I've written up design documents of varying degrees of completeness and sophistication for all sorts of games I wanna make.
A.I. Love You: A puzzle game that you don't actually play. Instead, you drop blocks onto a grid to "program" a robot, who then tries to solve puzzles. The more successful it is, the more and better kinds of blocks you get to rewrite your robot and even build new ones to help it solve bigger and bigger puzzles.
Oh, and finally, if you got discouraged partially because of Flippin' Matrix's code... let it be known that I overcomplicated that stuff anyway; code is hopping basically everywhere and I sometimes had issues backtracking where something went in order to fix some bugs, myself.
a sea star game I don't remember the exact name of and can't find the download of right now (help me out, anyone!)
Quote from: DaVince on December 15, 2013, 06:41:43 pma sea star game I don't remember the exact name of and can't find the download of right now (help me out, anyone!)"Dee Seesternkonigstochter" (Google Translation: "The Seastar Princess") by SDHawk (who made Zero's Impossible Fortress)My Google-fu is failing me on his most recent website URL but Wayback Machine has an old capture with a not-working download link (and the old wiki page on SDHawk). Also take a look at Schatz-Jager (if you can DL it) for a Galaga-style shmup!
One, even if I spent say the next two years learning any given language inside-and-out, you know what that'd make me? A game designer who happens to have coding knowledge. Not a programmer.
I mean, let's imagine the dream scenario: I manage to make a small indie game by myself, it becomes really popular, I form a small indie gaming "company" on the coattails of its fame and fortune. Do you know what I would spend my days doing, at that company? Not programming, not a chance -- I'd have coders who could write code way faster and better than me.
You wouldn't ask an architect to put on a hardhat and physically build his own building. Yet we expect a game designer to build his or her own game.
Game design isn't seen as a legitimate profession, I'd be seen as doing "no work" while everyone else busts their hump coding and spriting and such. Or at least, it's seen as a reward for being one of those hump-busters for years on end.
time better spent doing other things
I don't wanna toil as a low-level worker
I can't walk that path, anyway. I have a bunch of medical conditions which prevent me from working any sort of normal job, or even finishing my college education. (Honestly, I shouldn't be posting on these forums or messing around with Sphere as much as I have been, but I've spent the past 18 months doing nothing all day everyday 'cause of severe joint and eye and ear and other problems. They've gotten slightly better recently, enough to lightly use a computer for about an hour, two or three times a day. But even that's pushing it; I may backslide and end up bedridden with pain and totally drop off the face of the internet, just from posting on these forums, pushing my broken hands to type text, staring my wretched eyes at a computer screen, subjecting my hyperacusis'd ears to the noise of a harddrive.)
I'm gonna stick with programming, no question. As preposterous as the odds are, it's the surest way I can achieve my dream of being the head of an indie gaming company. Still. It's a detour, a path to get where I really wanna go; programming, for me, is a means to an end. And it'll be a long journey, and I might fail. I just wish there were a shorter, surer path.
1) you or Radnen or someone could've written it in five minutes and
On the other hand, having really good ideas isn't a skill that can be developed -- you sorta either have them or you don't.
I think the reason they have architects do that is so that they can have a hands-on appreciation for building; so they don't design things that are ridiculous because of their ignorance of the physical manufacturing process.
Just for clarification on one point -- those guys you linked to are game writers. I'm a game designer. They come up with stories. I come up with mechanics and levels and maps and enemies and items. And stories too, and it's not like I'd say no to a job working as a story writer for a gaming company, but only so I could schmooze with industry insiders and make a living. (FYI, I principally write fiction. I'm hoping to start looking for a publisher for my first book mid-next year, if I keep up the pace I'm at now. I also write the stories for my games, but that's just one aspect of my larger interest in writing.)
I've decided something. I'm going to put all my design documents online.
Also, I'm not really interested in money apart from being able to feed and house myself, and I'm a pretty low-maintenence, material-possessions-light kinda guy anyway, I just wanna see my ideas come to fruition, so if someone came along and took a bunch of my ideas and put them into their game, I'd actually be thrilled. Especially if they had the decency to throw some credit my way and say "the original idea came from this guy named Mooch, he's got this cool website with a bunch of game ideas, and when I read such-and-such, I knew I just had to include it in our game."
I have literally no money, literally zero dollars and zero cents to my name, so I can't afford a dotcom, not even if I could get one for $1 a month. Guess I'll have to go with a free blog, since nobody pays attention to non-blog-style personal websites anymore. I'll post a link once I get it up.
Ah, and you know how I said I have about five or six dozen games under my hat? I just completely pulled that idea out of nowhere; it was a gross, random guess. I dug up a few of my master lists after writing my last post, and as it turns out, I actually have over 100. I have five dozen NES-style games alone. Add to that more graphically- and programatically-sophisticated games, and the number breaks triple digits ^_^
There's just this ineffable magic and soul to the likes of Mario and Link and Sonic and Megaman that isn't replicated today, even in retro-style indie games. Part of it, I think, is that they started on such limited hardware.
Amen. I keep trying to tell my brother that 2D pixel art is better than 3D realistic looking games in terms of beauty, but of course I do realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what is art if to not imitate a photograph? 2D pixel art uses colors in very distinct and imaginative ways. You create a represent of life - not a recreation. Games like Chrono Trigger looked so good because you recognize things like trees and barrels and mundane things in a purely fantastical light, a light that makes you think and see the world differently. It's almost indescribable: I'd rather look at a pixelated barrel than a high quality 3D rendered one.